There are an extraordinary amount of social and political liberties that we take for granted in our everyday lives. Throughout Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi lives a life on the opposite spectrum, regarding authoritative rule, in her country on Iran and her autobiographical novel really opened my mind to that particular lifestyle. She is forced to assimilate into traditionalist values by living in constant fear of being arrested if she does not comply with regulations of dress and values.
The portion of the book I identified the most with was the when Marjane was in art school. As a visual communications student myself, I personally live in a world where I am not bond to strict regulations of my government and I can draw what I please. A central component to basic drawing classes in numerous art schools is nudes. People’s forms and body shapes are masked under clothing, and drawing nudes allows students to acquire skill of drawing the human body with anatomical correctness. Marjane was not allowed to draw nudes in her school, but rather drew veiled women, which did not expose the form of the individual’s body. Marjane and her friends drew each other in the confines of their own houses, where they were not under the constant threat of detainment if they were not in accordance to various social requirements.
When walking down the street, Marjane had to continuously think about whether or not her physical deposition would get her arrested. She had to manage her pants length, whether or not her veil was worn properly, the amount of make-up she was wearing, and various other things. Frivolous behaviors such as drinking alcohol, playing cards, dancing were banned. Marjane and her male counterparts were separated in school and unmarried couples could not live together or show their affection in public. I could not imagine living my own life in such circumstances. I tried to picture myself amongst Marjane and I simply could not imagine living in a healthy cognitive state because I am used to social and political freedom.
I live in a world where I can wear whatever attire I desire, as long as it’s not too obscene. I can actively protest and walk down a street without the threat of being arrested. I can play cards, dance, and display affection openly. I can draw nudes and be part of a class with both males and females. Often I take these notions for granted.